Walk on the Wild Side & Music at Jackson Lake Lodge

We invite you to Jackson Lake Lodge for a special evening of music, learning, and experiencing our National Park.

 

Bring your family and friends to Jackson Lake Lodge for a night in the Park on Wednesday, June 29, 2011! Performances from Grand Teton Music Festival String Quartet, will present twice starting at 5:00pm and 6:00pm in the lobby. Enjoy the view overlooking the Willow Flats and Jackson Lake while listening to harmonious music inspired by the Park. Most recent wildlife sightings include; grizzly bear, elk, wolves, and moose! Following the live music, we are thrilled to host Grand Teton National Park, Division Chief of Science and Resource Management for an educational program, Walk on the Wild Side in the Trappers Room at 7:00pm.  Events are complimentary and open to everyone. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm for Grand Teton National Park!

For more details please see below or visit our website calendar of events  for other Grand Teton Lodge Company programs.

Music in Nature

Outstanding natural beauty inspired both the creation of our national parks, and the creation of great music. Enjoy a fusion of music and nature while listening to the Grand Teton Music Festival String Quartet in residence at Grand Teton National Park. The quartet will perform classical music inspired by nature’s grandeur in the Jackson Lake Lodge lobby, often accompanied by a park ranger. These programs are free and open to the public, come and enjoy beautiful music in a spectacular setting! Performances start at 5:00pm and 6:00pm.

Walk on the Wild Side

Spend an evening with Sue Consolo-Murphy,Grand Teton National Park, Division Chief of Science and Resource Management for a discussion on current Park wild life and resource management issues:

  • How many new Wolf packs are in the Tetons?
  • What’s happening with the Grizzly Bear?
  • Do we really have Mountain Lions in the Tetons?
  • Can Pikas really detect climate change?
  • Why are Pine Bark Beetles attacking our trees?
  • Where are our glaciers going?
  • What are aquatic nuisances and why should we be concerned?

Join this special event in the Jackson Lake Lodge Trappers Room on Wednesday, June 29th, at 7:00pm. This program is free and open to the public.

The Ewes Have It

Photos by Don Wells

“…better than any other animals the bighorns typify the Tetons.”
-Fritiof Fryxell, 1938

An early season visit to the National Elk Refuge in Jackson found a herd of bighorn sheep working the Miller Butte area.  Very comfortable with our presence, it was a great opportunity to observe and photograph these seldom seen inhabitants of this Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  Some ewes appeared ready to lamb, so follow-up visits are definitely on the shortlist of things to accomplish.

Derived from a much larger bighorn sheep complex that historically lived in northwest Wyoming, numbering perhaps 100-125, Wyoming’s smallest and most isolated native herd of bighorn sheep, the Teton Range bighorn sheep resides year-round at high elevation in Grand Teton National Park and surrounding National Forests.  This population’s hold on the future is tenuous owing to its small size, likely isolation and the combined effects of loss of historic winter ranges, habitat alteration due to fire suppression and threats posed by increasing recreation in and near important seasonal ranges. has been studied.  A three-year collaborative study has just been completed to improve the understanding of how and why bighorn sheep use the Teton landscape through identifying locations, characteristics, and use patterns of seasonal habitats and movement corridors by collecting data from GPS radio-collared bighorn ewes.  Furthermore, a better understanding of the relationship between human activities and sheep habitat use is needed to evaluate whether sheep avoid high human use areas and to devise appropriate management strategies.  Additional information on the study project is available at http://tetonsheepproject.blogspot.com/

Wondering how this Elk Refuge population relates to the Teton Range bighorn sheep population, a phone call was made to the National Elk Refuge for information.  According to Eric Cole, Refuge Biologist, with the development of the National Elk Refuge, a relatively new bighorn population now winters on the Refuge.  This year saw a record population estimated to be around 75 animals.  This herd’s Summer home is the Gros Ventre range rather than the Teton range and as the snow melts and suitable food sources become available, this herd will migrate to the summer range high in the Gros Ventre range.  Cole indicated lambing generally occurs in early June which makes this is an outstanding time to visit the Elk Refuge to view these seldom seen animals.

Grand Teton National Park is just 310,000 acres of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that is estimated to be between 12—18 million acres. This is one of the largest intact temperate-zone ecosystems on Earth today.  Only in this Ecosystem exists the largest free-roaming, wild herd of Bison in the world, one of the largest Elk herds in North America, one of two Grizzly populations in the contiguous US, the longest migration of native Pronghorns of any North American mammal, and home to the Teton Range bighorn sheep.  Visit often and stay a while, youlee be amazed at what you can see.

From Don’s Corner

3 Ways to Enjoy Grand Teton National Park this Spring

Welcome springtime in Grand Teton National Park! There are already signs of a new season approaching. With the arrival of the spring melt we see the Snake River  rushing, river otters playing, trumpeter swans swimming, and moose munching on willows. These are all sure signs that Jackson Hole and Grand Teton Lodge Company are coming out of winter hibernation!

Three moose seen this April munching on willows

If you have Spring Fever and are ready for your summer vacation in the mountains, let us help you plan your mountain getaway for family and friends with our Grand Teton National Park packages.

The Grand Adventure Package

A Grand Teton National Park Exploration

The Grand Adventure Package is an all-inclusive package that offers a true discovery of Grand Teton National Park.  This package was designed for the family to explore the majestic scenery, wildlife and activities of the Park for all ages. The key to this package is the amount of activities to participate in; from river rafting on the beautiful Snake River, hiking and horseback riding in one of Americas most treasured and historic National Parks to boat cruises on Jackson Lake below the statuesque Teton Mountain Range to touring our neighboring town of Jackson or Yellowstone National Park.  Create a family experience to last a lifetime.

Hot Dates: May 20-June 20, 2011 and September 15-October 1, 2011 ~ Receive 20% Off Lodging!

Stay & Play Package

A Grand Teton National Park Skins and Fins Experience

Yes you read it right! Where is a more fantastic place on earth for dedicated golfers and fisherman than Grand Teton National Park?  This is a package created for that special outing with friends that may come only every so often. Golf at the beautiful Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club located just outside of the Park. Don’t be surprised to see moose munching on nearby greens while gazing at the entire Teton Mountain Range on iconic 13th hole. Spend a day hiking in the inspiring mountains. Catch the “big one” with an incredible day of fly fishing on the Snake River with a private guide. Grab your friends and let the adventure begin!

Give & Getaway Package

A Way to Give Back in Grand Teton National Park

A new year is here and so is a brand new Give & Getaway package.  This summer from June 6th through 9th, volunteers who work alongside Teton Science Schools employees to preserve the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will receive 20% off their lodging.  Working, on Vacation? With this package volunteer your vacation time to give back to the environment. Experience the Jackson Hole Region on a whole different level by participating in a Willow Restoration Program and a Trail Extension Project. In addition to volunteering partake in an interactive education class about the ecology, plant communities, and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Find a getaway that sounds right for you? Call one of our Package Specialist for more information at 800-628-9988. For more mountain vacation options visit our packages web page, please click: Packages

Grand Teton Lodge Company Echo Day

Grand Teton Lodge Company will participate in a Fence Pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge as part of our contribution for Echo Day on August 7, 2010. The Fence Pull results in allowing wildlife to pass freely throughout the area without being injured. We are inviting members of the Jackson Hole Community and our guests of Grand Teton Lodge Company to volunteer with our employees for an hour of their day and to be part of this effort to improve our environment of Grand Teton National Park.

If this activity sounds like the perfect way to give back to the environment we are excited to have you participate! Plan on meeting at the Jackson Lake Lodge Corrals at 10am on Saturday morning. If possible wear long pants and work type clothes, gloves will be provided for your safety. This event is from 10am-5pm, but even an hour of your time will be a huge contribution to the Fence Pull!

If you want to learn more about what really happens at a Fence Pull please read our blog “The Clearing of Devil’s Rope”. Also, to find more information about Vail Resorts Echo Day – click here!


When: August 7th
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
What: Continue/complete fence pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge
Where: Meet at JLL Corrals
Who: All GTLC Employees, Community, Guests, National Park Service


Breakfast Wagon Ride

This morning I arose bright and early in eager anticipation for today’s adventure in Grand Teton National Park.  My journey led me to the breakfast Wagon Ride. The Jackson Lake Lodge Corrals sponsor this fun activity open to all ages for everyone to enjoy. The morning air was cool and crisp as I ventured to the Corrals. This activity is especially exciting because it is only open five short weeks out of our season due to wildlife activity on the wagon trail. I was greeted at the corrals with a big smile and welcome from our wagon driver Perrin. We loaded the wagon and took off onto the trail which starts by driving in front of lodge along the edges of the willow flats.

Morning Breakfast Wagon Ride

Sunshine Ride Beside the Willow Flats

As we traveled along the wagon trail we listened with delight as Perrin told us stories of the local wildlife and environment. The wildflowers were just at their peak season and were bright and colorful. We rode beside streams and tall pine and aspen trees and part of trail went through some of the oldest forest in the area. It was fun to try and spot for signs of wildlife and share our tales of what we have seen in Grand Teton National Park.

Wagon at Breakfast Site

The Wagon Team Zeta & Zorro

Our team of horses that pulled our wagon were beautiful and they have cute names Zeta and Zorro.  Zeta is short for Cathrine Zeta Jones who is Zorro’s love interest in the movie! After approximately an hour ride we arrived to our breakfast site and were greeted by amazing views of the Tetons and a hot breakfast cooking on the griddle. My favorite was the cowboy coffee sitting on the fire! There was also a campfire for us to gather around and drink our first cup of coffee before breakfast was ready. The pancakes were delicious and were served with warm huckleberry syrup. Yum! When everyone was full there was time to walk around and take pictures, and enjoy the morning outside! Perrin eventually rounded us up and we started our enjoyable ride back to the corrals. As you can see from the pictures below this was perfect morning in the Tetons with a nostalgic journey through the wilderness.

Pancakes Anyone?

Breakfast Location

Teton Breakfast- Eggs, Ham, Pancakes, Potatoes

Perfect Place for a Hot Cup of Coffee

Crossing the Stream on the way Back to the Corrals

Dinner Lake Cruise to Elk Island

The Dinner Cruise to Elk Island is so delicious it deserves a second blog. The cruise alone is worth the trip. Walk down the dock and find the cruise ships Rendezvous and Teewinot waiting to depart. All ages are welcome aboard and the journey on Jackson Lake begins.

The Dinner Lake Cruise starts at 5:30pm which means the sun will slowly set during the cruise. The first 30 minutes of the cruise offer an interpretive and humorous talk given by the spectacular first mates about the natural landscape and history of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Lake. For instance, do you know the size of the largest trout caught in Jackson Lake? Find the answer on the Dinner Lake Cruise!

The Teewinot leads the way to Elk Island

As the boat travels to Elk Island there are plenty of Wildlife viewing opportunities.  See Below:

Elk on Elk Island with Antlers

Once the boat arrives to Elk Island it is time for dinner, and one should come hungry because the food is cowboy cookin’ scrumptious. Dinner is cooked on site over a grill and the food is served from piping hot cast iron skillets. Griddle grilled corn on the cob, baked beans and kettle potatoes all are amazing sides as well as, a full salad bar with rolls. The main course is unbeatable when it comes to flavor! Can anything compare to Flame-grilled steaks and Idaho trout?

Excellent 1st Mate Servers

Cowboy Dinner

Just when one thinks they are full and satisfied dessert is served. Blueberry cobbler is served warm and delicious cooked in a large cast iron skillet. Add a cup of coffee and it is the perfect way to end an amazing feast.

Warm Blueberry Cobbler

What about the view? As mentioned earlier the cruise leaves at 5:30pm when the sun shines down on the mountains before setting behind them. Dining on an Elk Island offers brilliant close up views of the Teton Mountain Range while in nature. After the meal there is time to walk the trail to a lookout on Elk Island and see incredible panoramic views of Jackson Lake and the mountains.

Lookout view from Elk Island

If you are looking for a fun-filled evening with family or friends participate in the Elk Island Dinner Cruise and have the experience of a lifetime.

Back to Colter Bay Marina

The Eyes Have It

Every once in a while, the opportunity prevails of itself to be the first on a rare photo opportunity in Grand Teton National Park.

Great Grey Owl

Last Saturday morning while driving the Moose- Wilson Road, just past the Laurence S. Rockefeller Preserve, a motion out the left side of the car caught my attention.  Behold a Great Grey Owl (Stris nebulosa) rose from the earth, flared its wings, and landed, perched in a dead snag, looking in our direction.  The largest owl in North America, the head almost looked too big for its body. The yellow eyes and facial discs with concentric circles further emphasized the head size.  There were no ear tufts making it more easily identified – differentiating it from a Great Horned Owl.

Stay tuned for more chance photo opportunities.  Or better yet, come and visit for yourself, and bring your camera.

Article and photo by:

Don Wells, CIG

Interpretive Specialist

Grand Teton Lodge Company

10 Tips for Hiking in Grand Teton National Park

Hiking season is here in Grand Teton National Park and all are eager to start their summer trek. An unknown author stated, “Of all the paths you walk on in life, make sure one of them is dirt.” Grand Teton National Park has some of the best views in the world from those dirt trails. The trails in the Park vary from moderate to advanced and from dirt to rocky terrain. One thing is for sure that there is a trail for everyone in the family.

To enjoy our local trails we want to offer some Rocky Mountain advice to safely hike through and value Grand Teton National Park. These tips have been gathered from our local employees who spend their summers working at Grand Teton Lodge Company and hiking in the mountains on their days off. We hope our trail expertise will help prepare you for your first hike of the season in our beautiful Park.

View from Hike to Garnet Canyon

  1. Hike With A Buddy – It is important to make noise and talk to your pal while on the trail. The noise you make lets wildlife know you are around, and helps keep them from becoming startled and defensive. Also, if an emergency situation happens you are not alone when following the buddy system. Remember to talk while you walk.
  2. Carry Bear Spray – In the wilderness grizzly and black bears call Grand Teton National Park their home and we are fortunate to be allowed in it. When a bear is startled it may attack and bear spray can save your life. Find bear spray in the retail outlets throughout the Park, or stop by a local Ranger Station and take it on the trail with you. This applies to all areas of the Park not just the mountains.
  3. Hike in Boots – These trails although maintained are not paved sidewalks. They have bumps, ruts, rocks, and dirt. A tough boot with hard soles is ideal for the protection of your feet and ankles, especially when it comes to high elevation hiking.
  4. Travel With H2O – The elevation of Grand Teton National Park has an average elevation of 6,800 feet and reaches up to 13,770 feet at the tallest mountain peak, The Grand Teton. At 6,000 feet in elevation people perspire twice as much as in low elevation due to low air pressure. In high elevation it is important to drink lots of water because it is easy to become dehydrated and not even realize it. Take water with you even on the shortest hike.
  5. Walk With Poles – Not ski poles but hiking poles or a walking stick. You will not be the only one on the trail with them. Hiking poles help with balance while traveling on uneven terrain, and can save your knees while hiking downhill.
  6. Wear Sunscreen and Eye Protection – Because the elevation is high in Grand Teton National Park you are closer to sun’s harmful rays. It is easy to get burnt even while the sky is overcast. Also, many of the Park’s trails surround lakes and rivers which will reflect those UV rays right towards you, protect your skin and eyes with UV protection.
  7. Bring a map – Whether, your hike is a mile or 20 miles it is important to plan your route. Have a map on hand in case you are not sure about the next turn to make. Maps can also be used to chart each of the locations you reach. They are lightweight and easy to carry.
  8. Be Aware of Weather Changes – In the mountains weather can be unpredictable and storms can roll in while you are on mile 3 of your 6 mile hike. Always carry a light rain and wind protective shell while hiking.
  9. Pack It In; Pack It Out – This is for your safety as well as others! If you bring along a snack for the trail, remember to take it with you when you leave. Wildlife, specifically bears have a very keen sense of smell and will find a bubble gum wrapper, apple core, or part of a sandwich left behind. These small items can attract wild creatures to humans who they think provide them with food. Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear. Keep the trails clean and safe for everyone by taking your munchies with you.
  10. Carry a Camera – Grand Teton National Park is famous for its photogenic spots. Nearly everywhere you point your camera can be a perfect shot waiting to be framed. Have your camera with you as you hike because the Park is filled with wildlife and spectacular views to be treasured always.

Boots for the Trail


The Clearing of “The Devil’s Rope”

 
photo by Don Wells
photo by Don Wells

The history of Range Land in the American West could be defined simply as “before wire and after wire.”  Many historians believe one of the defining moments in the history of the West came when a small bunch of wild longhorn steers stopped and backed away from eight slender strands of twisted wire equipped with sharp barbs. This event happened in 1876 when John W. (Bet-a-Million) Gates erected an enclosure on the Plaza in San Antonio, Texas to demonstrate to gathered ranchers, that newly-invented “Devil’s Rope” could securely contain wild livestock. From that moment on, the West would never be the same again.  This defining event ended the era of open range and the use of free graze which had reigned supreme since the earliest settlers began to populate mid-America.

As early pioneers moved into the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming, the need to use fencing as a range management tool was already well understood.  Even though smooth and barbed wire was available, it was expensive.  And besides that, fence postholes were nearly impossible to dig in this cobble/gravel soil left by our early glaciers.  Our earliest settlers turned to the abundant supply of Lodgepole Pine trees to construct our iconic “Buck and Rail” fences.  Later, with increased modernization, the “Devil’s Rope” would weave its way into Jackson Hole as well.

 photo by Don Wells
photo by Don Wells

John and Frank Craighead began studying Grizzly bear in Grant Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in the late 1950’s.  It became clear through their research that our animal population didn’t understand the concept Park boundaries.  Their studies reflected a significantly larger habitat study area defined as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  From that date forward this ecosystem, the greatest intact temperate zone ecosystem remaining in the world, has and will continue to host scientific studies of all facets of this ecosystem.

Of study interest are the migratory habits of many of our large mammals.  Each year Elk and Pronghorn migrate through this ecosystem.  Pronghorn constitute the second largest migratory heard in the Western Hemisphere – second only to Caribou. Current herd estimates are around 40,000 animals.  Elk seasonally migrate from the National Elk Refuge, North of Jackson, to the Yellowstone Plateau.  Our challenge is the existence of non-used fences that remain in this migratory habitat, dating back to our early pioneer days.  These unused fences block heard travel and often entrap newborn calves.

Each year Grand Teton Lodge Company along with Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, (www.jhwildlife.org)  volunteer to remove miles of both old buck and rail fence line and unused wire fencing.

photo by Don Wells

photo by Don Wells

Take advantage of Grand Teton Lodge Company’s Give and Getaway Program on September 22-23, 2009 and enjoy a private interpretive tour of the Menor’s Ferry Historic District along with the opportunity to participate in the removal of a mile of fence line to improve wildlife migration in Grand Teton National Park.  For more information on this program please call 800-628-9988.  Rates start at $120 per room at Jackson Lake Lodge.

From Don’s Corner

Awesome Autumn Deals!

If you are looking for somewhere to go for a fall holiday, now is the time to book!  You will find a spectacular last-chance vacation getaway by combining our special $145/night Elk Lovers Excursion package with a cheap “Autumn Adventure” Fare from www.United.com

photo by Ernst Mutchnick

photo by Ernst Mutchnick

In addition to Grand Teton National Park’s colorful foliage, a popular fall activity is witnessing the unique sounds of elk during the annual rutting season.  The bull elk’s bugle starts as a low whistling sound that builds and culminates into the high-pitched sound of a flute.  The bugle lets other elk know that the bull has staked claim to a territory and a harem.  In preparation for the winter season, elk herds can be found in abundance migrating through the Park toward their winter home near the town of Jackson, making it prime elk-watching season.

Jackson Lake Lodge’s Elk Lovers Excursion package is valid from September 4 (Labor Day weekend) through September 27, 2009 for new bookings only, and is based on space availability for single or double occupancy.  The $145 nightly rate for Elk Lover’s Excursion includes a welcome amenity and is exclusive of tax, gratuities, and incidental charges.  Use of a private car is recommended in order to enhance the overall elk experience, and transportation is not included in the package. Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 800-628-9988.

Check out United’s “Autumn Adventure Sale” under Special Deals on www.united.com.   Act fast as tickets must be purchase no later than Monday September 7th.